Basketball Lady Hornets sail past host Higginsville 57-29 behind senior Trout's 13 points, frosh Reeter's 11, and scoring-rebounding double-double of Kieffer in Monday, Feb. 18, district tournament opener

HIGGINSVILLE, Mo. — With an 11-2 opening burst to give it early control and a second 10-0 spurt late in the first half to add to their comfort zone, the Chillicothe (Mo.) HS basketball Lady Hornets secured win No. 19 of their 2018-19 season Monday night (Feb. 18) with a 57-29 triumph over host Lafayette County in the first round of the Class 3 District 14 Tournament.
With the victory, the Lady Hornets earned a spot in Wednesday’s scheduled 7 p.m. semifinal game. Second-seeded CHS (19-7) will meet third-seeded Lexington (17-7) after top seed Trenton (21-0) clashes with Brookfield (11-12).
Chillicothe’s boys, also seeded second in their division, commence district play Tuesday, but at a different time and in a different gymnasium than originally-scheduled.
Due to concerns over possible incoming frozen precipitation Tuesday night, the games planned for 7 and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday will be shifted forward to 4 and 5:30 p.m. starts, respectively, and played in the newer (west) gym at the school in Higginsville, it was announced Monday evening.
That means Chillicothe’s Hornets (13-10) and seventh-seeded Lexington Minutemen (13-13) will tangle at 4 p.m. in the west gym, while the originally-slated 4 p.m. contest goes on as scheduled in the school’s original (east) gym.
Monday night, CHS senior guard Catey Trout made an opponent preoccupied with defending CHS’ top 3-points shooters Jordan Hibner and Hunter Keithley pay a substantial price.
With Higginsvill’s Lady Huskers in a triangle-and-2 defense, overing Keithley and Hibner girl-to-girl and having their other three players staying close to the lane, Trout fired and hit three open, mid-range shots from the right side in a span of less than 100 seconds in the opening 3:10 to fuel the Lady Hornets’ fast start.
When she got the ball again in that general locale about a half-minute after her third deuce, one of the defenders hurried toward her, allowing Trout to easily flip a lob pass to the low post, leading center Kennedie Kieffer perfectly to the basket for an undefended lay-in.
After Kieffer netted two free throws not long thereafter, Chillicothe had posted 10 unanswered points for an 11-2 lead midway through the first quarter.
Although Higginsville cut the gap to five three times in the late going of the initial segment, a 5-0 mini-run by the Lady Hornets doubled it to 10 just over a minute deep in the second stanza and then ran it out to 32-15 with its second string of 10 uninterrupted tallies.
Senior Maggie Pfaff triggered that decisive stretch with consecutive easy lay-ins from the left side after getting alert, cross-lane passes from Keithley to the right of the key.
Freshman Lucy Reeter, who would end the night with the first double-digits scoring performance of her budding career, completed the streak with a right-side lay-in set up by Kieffer’s feed, a steal on the defensive end that she turned into a breakaway layup, and then two free throws.
Ahead 32-17 at intermission, Chillicothe was unthreatened the rest of the way, scoring nine of the first 11 points of the last half and eventually leading by 30 momentarily after two more Reeter foul shots with 4:41 to play.
Statistically, Chillicothe had four double-digits scorers, led by Trout’s 13 as she continued her recent more-assertive offensive ways. Both Reeter and Kieffer totaled 11 points each and Keithley had 10. Keiffer unofficially produced her latest scoring-rebounding double-double with 13 boards and Keithley paced the ball distribution with four assists while joining Trout with five rebounds.
Lafayette County was led in scoring by Sandra Welborn and Rachel Rumsey with 10 points apiece.
In Monday’s other girls’ first-round games, Trenton started sluggishly, but soon enough had a large and ever-growing lead on its way to a 70-27 verdict over Carrollton. Fine THS sophomore forward Maci Moore led the Lady Bulldogs of former Southwest Livingston girls’ coach Brian Upton with 21 points, followed by Ainsley Tolson with 12 and Salem Croy with 10.
Brookfield, now 11-12  in its second year under Chillicothe alumnus and former Meadville head coach Tony Fairchild, pulled away from Concordia: St. Paul Lutheran in the fourth quarter to post a 58-43 victory and advance to the semifinals to meet Trenton. Junior Cassi Conard led a balanced BHS offense with 16 points. Adding 14 each were classmates Kaylie Stufflebean and Rylee Sensenich.
Lexington closed the night with a 36-27 triumph over the Richmond Lady Spartans of another Chillicothe alum and former Chillicothe boys head coach Chad Snyder. Lexington, Chillicothe’s next foe, received four 3-pointers and 17 points from senior guard Allyssa Stockton and 10 from senior center Hope Webb.